The girl and boy continued on, happy together. They took pictures of the girl's growing belly and wondered about their future.
One month later they found themselves in the emergency room. With them was her mom and his mom holding their hands and trying to comfort them. They spoke of their own miscarriages and how life works and the children who come after and the joys life would still bring. The boy tried to keep a brave face and make the girl smile. He told her jokes and brought comfort to a tragic night. The boy was her strength.
The doctor came in and took the girl's hand, looked her in the eye and said, "Your baby doesn't have a heart beat." And the girl felt broken and so sad, her heart just ached. She thought she knew, but still, she had hoped.
She wondered how this had happened, how had their baby died without them knowing? While life for them was so good and so happy.
She cried for a week, the boy held her and still tried to keep her laughing and rented silly movies and talked to everyone who came to the door so she would not have to.
At the end of the week they went south to attend her grandfather's funeral. He had died the day she went to the hospital, and for some reason that brought her solace. She did not believe in god or heaven, and yet she felt her grandfather was taking care, in some way, of her lost baby.
The boy and girl went on and the sadness stayed with them. But still, they found joy and reasons to accept their tragedy. The boy and girl understood they could still begin this wonderful life. They could move on loving that little baby, and at the same time appreciate each other, and their time as a couple before other children would change all that.
They had a big beautiful wedding. Her mother made her dress, her mother-in-law embroidered it with flowers. Her step-mom baked the cake. A friend sang to them, and they danced to their song, What A Wonderful World. Everyone helped, it was amazing, more than they had hoped it would be. The boy and girl went to Las Vegas for this honeymoon, they did not want to come home.
Soon they moved into a little house with a yard, they had cats and a dog. They fought sometimes, they laughed a lot. They worked and played. But still. Life had more in store for them:
the girl had some health problems. She lost too much weight, her left eye bulged, her body buzzed and she fidgeted too much. The doctor said she had an overactive thyroid. She started doing research, she wanted to treat herself holistically, her doctor wanted her on medication. He said she could use radiation, or have surgery, or take the meds. She took some time to think. They would have to do tests to find out exactly what was wrong. They would see after Christmas.
Then one day the boy woke and got ready for work, he was dizzy and could not see well. The girl was still in bed when the boy came back and said he had left work - he was sick and would stay home. The girl went to work, she had an appointment with her doctor in the afternoon, he would tell her what was wrong. She talked to the boy a few times that day, he asked her to come home once to find the dog that had escaped the yard. He felt horrible, he could not walk at all. The boy and girl thought he had the flu.
The girl went to her doctor appointment. She was ready to ask the doctor to help her treat what was going on naturally, she really liked her doctor and felt sure he would care for her in the way that she wanted. The doctor told her she had Graves Disease, and no, he really could not do what she wanted, she would have to find another doctor. He was quite rude and she left crying.
When she got home, the boy told her he had to go to the emergency room, and half way there he asked her to look at his eye. She felt so scared when she saw his eyeball, pointing off to the side, she knew something was happening in his brain.
The emergency room doctor thought the boy was on drugs. Once he realized that wasn't the case, he told the boy and the girl it could be one of three things: a brain tumor, m.s., or lupus. He was excited, he was an intern, he had never seen this before.
The boy and girl were floored and astonished, and so very afraid. They agreed that maybe a tumor would be best, it could at least be removed. She called all their parents, she felt horrible giving the news long distance to his family. His mother was in Thailand, she could not imagine the panic a mother would feel so far away.
They called in a neurologist and admitted the boy for the night. She wanted to stay with him, but they needed the other bed in his room, so she went home and tried to sleep.
The next morning the girl went back to be with him when the doctor showed him the MRI. The boy had Multiple Sclerosis.
The boy was sent home with an eye patch and steroids, a nurse came and set him up with an i.v. All his friends came to visit and drink a beer with him, they were worried and needed to see him, to touch him to make sure he was all right. The boy still laughed and made jokes, it felt like a party, but still - there was fear in the room. The boy would turn thirty in twelve days.